Getting into the school you want to go to

by Daniel

Yale University

Yale University

Many people anticipate being accepted into their top choice when applying for college. Few people are accepted into the school they want to attend because that same school tends to be the ideal choice for many other students, which makes it more competitive. If you want to attend the University that you have always dreamed about, you should do some research. Make sure that you know the admission requirements and deadlines for the school of your choice. It will help you prepare yourself mentally for what you will need to do in order to stand out before the admissions committee.

Universities determine if you deserve to be a part of their school based on several factors, which include your GPA, a personal statement essay, your SAT/ACT score, and high school courses. If you are weak in a couple areas, you need to focus on turning other areas into your strengths. It is also great to be active in student organizations and the community or having a job. High school students need to remember that your GPA is the most influential factor during an admissions decision. A very good GPA increases your chances of getting your desired college without having to worry much about your SAT/ACT score.

Also, it’s important that you try to distinguish yourself from other students around the nation who are applying to your favorite college or university. You can try including a personal story in your personal statement. For example, I would state that my dad has always told me that you should learn from the best so you can be the best if I was applying to Yale. I am using my father’s words to indicate that I would like to attend Yale because it is one of the best universities in the country. My personal statement would allow me to demonstrate that Yale has a deeper meaning to me compared to other people. Schools also distinguish students based on their experiences in life. Volunteering, the creation of your own business, and a history of employment are all factors that cause admission committees to see that you have no problems with adjusting to different situations.

Read more tips about being accepted into their top choice school from other students and parents who have been through the college admission process.

Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Daniel for sharing your tips on getting into the school you want to go to. We agree that the college admission essay is very important. See some examples of some essays submitted by our readers at Best College Essays. Best wishes to you in college.

Getting Into College - What To Look Out For

(Marylou, California)

Applying for college is your chance to show off what you’re made of. Many things factor into a college’s decision on whether to accept you or not; grades are not the only thing that colleges look at, but never assume it’s not important. It’s better to be a well-rounded student than being good at only one thing. Your ability to answer the prompts required for some college applications also play a big role in the application process. Do not worry if you don’t get into the college of your choice, you still have another chance.

Entering high school is a big step out into a different world in many different ways. It can be challenging both educationally and emotionally. It is important to focus on key ideas during your four years of high school:

• Community Service
• Sports
• Clubs
• Leadership
• Grades

It’s good to keep a healthy balance between school and social activities. It shows that you can manage time efficiently while
keeping track of everything that is going on around you. This does not mean you have to do all that is listed above at the same time, however. As I mentioned before, you want to show that you can manage your time effectively while being productive in whatever it is you choose to do.

Some, if not, most colleges require students that are applying to respond to two prompts: a general prompt for all students applying and a freshmen prompt. These two prompts are reviewed by the college and play a big role in your admission to the college in question. The best advice that can be given to you about how to go about these prompts is:

• Answer to the best of your ability.
• Answer by how you interpret the question (meaning you don’t have to answer directly to the prompt. Colleges are looking for distinguishing features that sets you apart from all other admission prompts while responding to what they’re asking you).
• Do not be vague. Don’t leave the readers guessing at how you might be as a person.
• Do not stray from the main point of your prompt. For example, do not ramble on about how your relative is the best person ever. The prompt is about you.
• Do not exceed the word count. Colleges give you a word count that apply to both prompts, so what is recommended is to split the word count for both prompts. It’s okay if one prompt is shorter than the other, or if both are short as long as you can get your point across in a creative and effective manner for both prompts.
• Do NOT procrastinate.

Have multiple people review your prompts to make sure it’s the best you can make it, preferably teachers and adult figures (not including your parents). You can have your parents look over it, but you most likely won’t get all the feedback you need to perfect your prompts. Make sure you include the prompt question along with your response so that the person reviewing knows what to be looking for.

If you don’t get into the college(s) of your choice, you can retry by transferring out of a community college. Colleges tend to choose transfer students over graduating students coming straight out of high school, so you have a stronger chance of getting accepted into your dream college. You also save money by receiving your general education in a community college near home, including gas needed to travel, the costs to take the classes, and the costs for housing.

If you wish to go straight to a four year be active in your community, and keep your grades up. Do not be scared to send in an application if you feel like you don’t have good grades or haven’t done enough. The worst a college can do is deny you admission for that year, so do not be afraid.

Good luck!

Read more College Admissions Help from other students and parents who have been through process.

Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Marylou for sharing your college admission tips “Getting Into College - What To Look Out For”. I like your suggestion to consider community college as an option if you don't get into your dream school, as you might be able to transfer to it later. Best of luck to you.

More College Admissions and Financial Aid Advice

College Application Essay Topics

College Admissions Help

Scholarship Money for College

Scholarship Contests

Easy Scholarships


College Loans for Students

Federal Pell Grants

College Financial Aid Advice

Submit your entry in our College Essay Contest:

To share your entry in our scholarship contest, just click here.

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to College Admission Help.


Welcome to College Financial Aid Advice, a website full of information on scholarships and grants, student loans, and other ways to save money at college.

Important Things to Do

Scholarships for 2025 - 2026 - It is never too early or too late to work on your scholarship searches. If you are part of the high school class of 2025, you should work on your scholarship and college search now. See our list of Scholarships for High School Seniors

FAFSA - The official 2024 - 2025 FAFSA is available now. FAFSA.

College Financial Aid Tips

Scholarship Lists An overview of the different types of Scholarship Money for College.

Grants Learn more about grants, the other free money for college.

Need Tuition Help? Reduce the cost of tuition with these college Tuition Assistance Programs.

Tax Credit Claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

College Savings Plans Save money for college with these College Savings Plans.

Need a Student Loan? Yes, you qualify for these college Student Loans.

Popular Scholarship Searches

Scholarships for High School Students

Scholarships for College Students

Easy Scholarships

Scholarship Contests

Weird Unknown Scholarships

Merit Based Scholarships

Scholarships for Minorities

College Scholarships for Women